As I've been reflecting back on my 20's, I've started to wonder if those are the years of life that are designated in adulthood for learning as we attempt to figure out who we really are. I began making this mental list of what some of those years have looked like for me. As I did that, I realized that I was making these "I learned" sentences in my head.
I learned that if you use a credit card, it's not free money and you have to pay it back. With interest.
I learned that you have to bust your butt, with little thanks sometimes, to make enough money to buy an entire car for yourself. Thank you Sonic for teaching me what hard work felt like...
I learned that with a car comes sweet, sweet freedom. And responsibility too of course.
I learned that you work hard and do your best at your job, regardless of whether or not your employer notices or says anything. Because it's what is right and you can take pride in your job well done knowing that you gave your best.
I learned that living on your own is hard. And expensive. And that I wasn't quite ready for it when I thought it was.
I learned that hangovers felt different and more horrible at 27 than they did at 21.
I learned that I have to be careful when I drink, because I can be excessive and even abusive with alcohol sometimes.
I learned that I could be taken advantage of in my longing to be wanted and loved by a man.
I learned that in my deep longing to be wanted and loved by a man, I was willing to settle for less. I also learned how to shut off emotion and deaden my heart so I could have what I thought I wanted.
I learned that real love from a real man, is rare. Very, very rare. And it's absolutely wonderful when you finally find it and experience it.
I learned what it was like to hope for a child with the odds stacked against me that I wasn't going to be able to conceive.
I learned what it was like to carry a child in my womb, to give birth, and to hold a precious life in my hands that I helped make.
I learned that no season of life lasts forever. Things are always changing.
I learned that I'm really smart, and that even though I never got a college degree, I can hold my own in the workplace.
I learned why I believed what I believe about God. And I learned that my faith is real and true even though I struggle there sometimes.
I learned that while I love to sing, I think I love to write even more.
I learned what it meant to be a really good friend, from making really good friends.
I learned how to speak truth in love. Even when it is terrifying and hard.
I learned that the church is broken and it's not always safe. And if it's going to change, I need to keep going because I am part of the church.
I learned how hard and how wonderful it is to be a mom.
I learned how hard and how wonderful it is to be a wife too.
I learned that I can't do everything on my own and it's okay to ask for help.
I learned what it was like to walk by faith and trust God with really big, scary and tangible things. And I learned how awesome it felt to experience Him showing up for me in big ways.
I learned that I don't have to have it all together and that it's okay to be week and needy.
I learned that I am a fighter! And that evil should be very, very afraid of me.
I learned that God loves me more than I can even imagine.
I could probably go on. Maybe those are some of the highlights of the things I've learned and will be carrying away with me from my 20's into my 30's.
For a long time I was afraid to turn 30. It used to sound "old," and it doesn't so much anymore. It sounds mature and grown-up. And I have found myself actually looking forward to it. Aside from finding a gray hair or two on occasion that is. But here I am. My twenties are officially over after today.
So if you'll excuse me, I have a big party to get ready for tomorrow. I'm turning 30 - not sure if you knew.....